Presentation on theme: "Hope Personified May 11. Remember when … In what way did you and your siblings compete with each other? Today we look at what happened when the younger."— Presentation transcript:
Hope Personified May 11
Remember when … In what way did you and your siblings compete with each other? Today we look at what happened when the younger brother bailed out. – He ended up in a situation with no hope. – Both his earthly father and our Heavenly Father offer hope to wayward children.
Listen for how someone lost hope. Luke 15:11-19 (NIV) Jesus continued: "There was a man who had two sons.  The younger one said to his father, 'Father, give me my share of the estate.' So he divided his property between them.  ) "Not long after that, the younger son got together all he had, set off for a distant country and there squandered his wealth in wild living.  After he had spent everything,
Listen for how someone lost hope. there was a severe famine in that whole country, and he began to be in need.  So he went and hired himself out to a citizen of that country, who sent him to his fields to feed pigs.  He longed to fill his stomach with the pods that the pigs were eating, but no one gave him anything.  "When he came to his senses, he said, 'How many of my father's
Listen for how someone lost hope. hired men have food to spare, and here I am starving to death!  I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you.  I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired men.'
Freedom to Choose What did the younger son ask his father to do? What are some of the implications behind the young man’s request for his inheritance? Some people today similarly “decide to be lost.” In our spiritual journeys, what could we identify as a “distant country” that younger (or even older) people get into?
Freedom to Choose In what ways did the young son’s freedom soon become his bondage? What did he eventually decide to do about it? What did he expect at best by returning home? What suggests the sincerity of the son’s decision that he made in the pig pen? How does this son represent each one of us?
Listen for the father’s response. Luke 15:20-21 (NIV) So he got up and went to his father. "But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.  "The son said to him, 'Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.'
Love that Embraces So, what was the initial response when he returned home? How well do you think the son knew his father? Why? We spoke earlier of someone we know “deciding to be lost” … Why would someone welcome back a child (who had given them all that grief) coming back from one of these “distant country” experiences?
Love that Embraces What does the forgiving love of the father in this story represent?
Listen for how they celebrated. Luke 15:22-24 (NIV) "But the father said to his servants, 'Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet.  Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let's have a feast and celebrate.  For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.' So they began to celebrate.
Grace that Restores How did the father react to the return of his son? How do the robe, the ring, and the shoes represent the father’s acceptance of the younger son? Why are celebrations (just in general) important?
Grace that Restores How can we celebrate and commemorate the salvation of sinners? How can we celebrate someone who embraces hope and comes back to the Father? How do the words “dead” and “alive again” and “lost” and “found” describe the young man’s situation? How can they be applied spiritually?
Application Go home to Jesus – If there’s some area in your life where you’ve been keeping your distance from God, return to Him – Begin reading God’s Word and pray to Him daily – God will show you the way back
Application Forgive generously – Remember, the father ran to forgive his son – Forgive even if it seems strange and shocking to everyone else around – Forgive as God has forgiven you – Communicate that forgiveness
Application Invite someone home – Consider engaging in an honest – but loving – conversation with a “prodigal” – Patiently walk with this person as he or she finds the way to the Heavenly Father